The Home Stretch of Pregnancy Training
As I enter into the 28th week of my pregnancy, it’s hard to believe I am officially in my third trimester. It’s hard to believe that in just a few short months, our lives will be forever changed with our baby boy entering this world! It’s very exciting, but also daunting to think about all the changes ahead.
The second trimester had some ups and downs with my training. I was still fortunate to be able to get in fairly consistent training, but I had a couple back to back bad colds that left me feeling drained and fatigued for a few weeks. With the holiday travel and parties, it seems that this time of year, we are more likely to pick up bugs…especially with toddlers in tow. Pregnancy also lowers your immune system in order to protect your growing baby, so when I do get a cold it seems to linger a bit longer than normal. While recovering from colds, I still try and get a short workout in (as long as I don’t feel too tired) as I feel better moving the body; both physically and mentally. Another change for me is getting used to a real “winter”! The last four years, I have been spoiled by Florida winters, so I am getting used to more indoor training!
Around 19 weeks, I started cutting back my run volume. I noticed that if I ran longer than 20 or 30 minutes at a time, I put myself at risk to have sore joints (mostly my hips). I now run several times a week on the treadmill at an incline. To keep my mind occupied, I start the incline at 3.5% grade and go up .5% incline every five minutes. I keep the pace very conservative (at 6.0) and I am sure the pace will continue to slow and the incline will continue to increase as my baby grows. With the incline, I can get my heart rate up and also keep the pace and pounding relatively gentle on my changing body. I only stay on the treadmill 20-25 minutes (and I sometimes still have to take a bathroom break to empty my bladder~. I have also found a piece of equipment at the gym I prefer over the elliptical (last pregnancy I switched over to the elliptical during the third trimester). I have been using the stair stepper machine and I have found to enjoy the leg strength and cardio at the same time that this machine provides. I usually do this machine for 20 min prior to getting on the treadmill. This equals around 40 min of leg cardio at the gym. After my “running”, I will spend about 30 min strength training. I feel it’s important to try and keep up with as much strength training as I can during my pregnancy. Around 20 weeks, I stopped using any free weights (the squat bar), as I felt to be a bit off balance with my growing belly. I currently use the machines and body weight exercises. Once I feel pain and or discomfort with running, I will be sure to stop for the duration of my pregnancy and continue with walking elliptical and the stair climber. During my running, I use this band to help support my abs, baby and my ligaments. This is the same band I used last pregnancy and I was recommended to me from other runners during their pregnancies.
I have continued to swim and cycle on my trainer. I have found several series of tv shows on Netflix to keep me occupied while I ride my bike. A difference I notice with this pregnancy verses my last is that I seem to be carrying this baby higher. I have had less round ligament pain while running and swimming, but I have noticed that I have to be very upright while cycling. I feel that I get out of breath easier while riding than I remember during my last pregnancy. With the slight bending over position needed for cycling and the baby feeling higher up on me; perhaps my diagram is getting more compromised.
As with the last pregnancy, I take it a day at a time and do what I feel I am up for on that day. I have felt a bit more tired during the second trimester than I remember with Caroline. This could be due to a toddler to take care of in addition to the exercise. It was also true for me that my stomach grew much faster with my second pregnancy. I guess once those abdominal muscles have been stretched previously, they stretch much faster the second time! I feel that at six months, I am at a similar size at seven months with Caroline! I am already starting to have a hard time tying my shoes. Plus, baby boys tend to be slightly bigger than girls, so I expect to grow a little bigger with him and gain a little more weight.
I look forward to meeting our second child in the next two and a half months! I will continue to keep up with exercising as long as I can and also begin to continue with exercises that will help me with child birth. I will post about those another time! Best wishes to everyone getting in the winter training in preparation for an awesome 2017 season!